The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a press statement released yesterday said he was encouraged by a meeting on 19 August between President Thein Sein and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the banned national League for Democracy.
The meeting between the Ms Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein was the second in recent weeks. It came about after political parties including ethnic nationalities took part in a Burma economic development forum held on the 19 and 21 August in Naypyidaw.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.
“Whether these and other recent developments will move Myanmar forward depends on how all parties choose to work with each other. It is in the national interest that they seize the opportunity to extend and accept conciliatory gestures to achieve durable peace and unity.”
Mr Ban Ki-moon through his spokesperson called on the Burma government to release all political prisoners.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his call for the release of political prisoners as a matter of priority, so that all citizens of Myanmar are able to contribute to advancing the prospects of national reconciliation and democratic transition in their country.”
President Thein Sein attended the economic forum along with representatives from 37 political parties, and Aung San Suu Kyi.
The forum was held in Naypyidaw at the Myanmar International Convention Center (MICC) and three representatives from each political party were invited.
From Karen state, the Pa-an based, Plao-Swaw Democratic Party (PSDP) was one of the invited parties. A member of the PSDP confirmed that three of its representative attended the forum.
“We were officially invited by letter. Our vice chairperson, Saw Mya Htoo, general secretary, S’ Be Kyin and women affair chairperson Naw Yuzana Wa went to Naypyidaw.”
Representatives of the All Mon Democracy Party, Naing San Tin of Kyaik Mayaw Township No. 2 constituent, Naing Chan Myint of Paung Township No.2 constituent, Naing Aung Naing Oo of Chaung Sone Township No.1 constituent and Dr. Min Nwe Sone, minister of Mon State Social and Cultural affair also attended the forum.
Naing Ngwe Thein, chairperson of AMDP complained that they got their invitation letter two days before the August 19 forum and had little time to prepare.
“We’ve got the invitation late as did other parties. We have had no time for preparation. We don’t know what to discuss. However, as we have chances we will talk about the current condition of our economy or how was it before in our area.”
Regarding the attendance of the forum, U Nyan Win, spoke-person for NLD party confirmed to media that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has received the invitation letter on August 17 in her house.
Politicians, business people and selected individuals from government institutions, attended the three-day forum.